Tuition fees the 'pink dancing elephant in the room', Lib Dems told
The Liberal Democrat education spokeswoman has urged the party to completely re-imagine tuition fees and find a way to help older students return to their studies.
The party has been dogged by the tuition fees issue ever since it U-turned on a pledge not to raise them as part of the coalition government.
Layla Moran told the Lib Dem conference in Bournemouth tuition fees were the "pink dancing elephant in the room".
She added: "Tuition fees. I believe it's time that we completely re-imagined them too.
"The thing is, I do believe that education is a public good and should be freely accessible.
"But I also believe that only supporting the 40% of people who decide early enough that that's the path for them is fundamentally unfair."
Ms Moran cited the example of Christine, who she met studying a masters degree in her 30s.
"What about those who study part time, or need to retrain," Ms Moran said.
"Or want to embark on a vocational course, but have family responsibilities and can't make ends meet?
"What if we found a way for the state to help people access further education at any point in their lives?
"Now, many would choose to go do that and go to university at 18, but equally they could do it via a completely different route, later.
"At a time that is right for them, in a way that suits them, not when and how the state dictates they should."